Kings trump Raptors 107-101; counting up the mistakes


On Sunday night, the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors played a back and forth battle that ended very ugly for the visiting team. The Raptors, just beginning a west coast road trip, built a fourth quarter lead but were unable to hold on as DeMarcus Cousins beasted his team to a victory of 107-101.

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The first half saw a back and forth battle involving DeMar DeRozen drilling his shots, protecting passing lanes and finding open teammates. But Cousins lead his Kings to halftime with a two point lead. The Raptors did not shoot well in the first half but they boast being the best third quarter team in the league. And boy, did they get hot.

Nov 15, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) passes the ball against Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Lowry went deep multiple times and the team ran hot from outside.  All was not perfect, as DeMar DeRozan still took 4 isolations that didn’t amount to anything. The Raptors also had an incredible amount of defensive miscues in the 3Q that kept the Kings in the game such as:

  • 2 open threes due to lack of focus
  • 2 alley-oop dunks given to the kings
  • 3 dunks total from blown covers

They should have had a larger lead heading into the fourth but gave up 26 points while scoring 31.

The fourth quarter started well with transition success and a Patrick Patterson three ball. The Raptors hit 89 points with 10:22 remaining in the game, and only managed to score 12 points the rest of the way.

Bismack Biyombo played nearly the whole fourth with Dwane Casey’s small unit, as Jonas Valanciunas struggled mightily most of the game. Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph, DeMar DeRozan and DeMarre Carroll held down the rest of the positions down the stretch. Cory Joseph played fantastic ball by getting to the rim at will and involving his teammates. The rest were nothing to write home about.

Nov 15, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Bismack Biyombo (8) and Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) in an altercation after a whistle during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Toronto Raptors 107-101. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I began to count the negative offensive possessions and it ain’t pretty:

  • Biyombo blew 3 offensive possessions by sheer lack of skill
  • Lowry iso’d 3 times without success
  • DeRozan took 5 contested jumpers with just one success

These 10 blunders mixed with some questionable calls in favour of Boogie Cousins (although he was a monster this game) was the result. There’s the fourth quarter collapse in a nutshell.

It is just one game, but definitely a winnable one as the Raptors begin their trek through the west coast gauntlet. DeRozan usually bails out the Raptors in crunch time but it didn’t happen for him tonight, and that is okay. No shame in this loss, there was just a lack of focus to execute at the most important times. The early shot clock iso is getting a bit old when the times get tough and needs to be sorted out soon.

Expect the Raptors to take this one back to the drawing board and have a bit more smarts against a record setting Golden State Warriors team on Tuesday night. It will be a must watch game, not because the Raptors will particularly overachieve, but because Stephen Curry is must-watch television.

Next: Time is up for Terrence Ross- Part 2

Graeme Klayh is a Staff Writer for Raptors Rapture.